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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Trump's genial idea

Por dbloggers

Juan waits anxiously. He does not know what will be the result of the DNA tests done to him and his wife to match it with those of his daughter and return her to him. He along with hundreds of other families of emigrants is undergoing these tests to corroborate the kinship of migrant children who were separated from their parents. Going with her daughter in the arms out of the detention center in the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, will be the greatest happiness for this Honduran father. Although it is a feasible, fast and effective exam, several ethical problems are involved, mainly regarding the rupture of family nuclei if "certain" truths come to light, as has already happened.

So far and to the commotion of the relatives of the 102 migrant children examined, five cases have revealed that the parents of these children were mocked and their paternity is not so "authentic", a fact that is alarming social activists and even the government itself because the "surprises" are creating tension within the nuclei.

Some specialists in medical ethics oppose this type of scientific method to try to reunite families. Arthur Caplan, head of the medical ethics division of the New York University School of Medicine, said "this is just one of the situations in which problems arise." He believes DNA tests are quite effective but it does not have the necessary tools to get away from external factors.

On the other hand Thomas Murray, president emeritus of the Hastings Center, told the press that it would be a mistake to do this kind of exam without the competent advisors. The expert states that the wrongly attributed paternity is generally a fairly common issue. Hence his warning of an ethical advice for those cases in which it happens.

"I'm worried since we're talking about minors, who have no authority or legal control over themselves", said to BBC News Joel Winston, former deputy attorney general of the state of New Jersey. "Any medical examination performed in the United States to minors must have the authorization of their parent or legal guardian," he added.

But the rush to reunite the family is given by a court order issued in San Diego, by a federal judge, Dana Sabraw, who ordered the Department of Justice to reunify families within 30 days.

Although the lawsuit was a good action, always the "extraordinary" solutions of the American president Donald Trump are shocking. His administration, to avoid paperwork and bureaucracy, ordered DNA tests for nearly 3,000 children who are separated from their undocumented parents in the US-Mexico border.

Alex Azar, Secretary of Health of the United States, had the "great" idea of ​​supporting reunification through DNA testing. Azar considered that "the usual methods of the department were too slow and these tests were necessary to meet the deadline given by the Justice Department to reunite families". For the Trump’s administration and its team of advisors, DNA analysis prevents minors from being handed over to the wrong people.

However, Murray does not believe that DNA tests are the only way, nor the ideal one to determine paternity. According to the expert, although biologically viable, the affective bond is also an important factor and should be considered. The debate has taken place because many children have been adopted by other families since they were very young, as a result of being victims of criminal gangs that have massacred their original families.

The Director of the Hastings Center, specialized in Bioethics, commented that the "news" could psychologically lacerate the minors involved.

On the other hand, Chris Meekins, an official of the Department of Health and Human Services, points out that it is not the government’s intention. Meekins suggests that besides being a quick method, they avoid any error.

Sadly the official of the Department of Health and Human Services of the United States is right. Recent background investigations to return children have revealed eight cases of people with serious crimes and a credible allegation of child abuse.

However, Dana Sabraw decreed that the practice should be restricted, and dismissed the government's position of evaluating all children.

Despite the critics, the Justice Department conducted a pilot test to verify the reliability of the process. So far, 75 children have been placed with their families. According to this organization, 38 will be returned to their parents while another 27 cases were not found feasible, because the parent's location has been unknown, which could be a new problem for US Government.

Meanwhile, the pressures against Trump come from everywhere. Recently at a meeting in which foreign ministers from Central America were present, the demand for the reunification of families got stronger. Luis Videgaray, representative of the Mexican chancellery, said the separation of families was an inhuman and cruel situation while Mario Rosales, from Guatemala, urged the solution to the crisis. In contrast, Secretary of Homeland Security Kristjen Nielsen took a cold stance on the claims. The US representative emphasized the need to respect American laws and make asylum requests through legal channels, a discourse that has as political background the anti-immigrant policy of President Donald Trump.